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Do we really need night creams and are they different from day creams? Many women use the same moisturiser during the day and at night, so do we really need two different products?
What is night cream?
Repair - The skin does the bulk of its repairing and regeneration while we are sleeping. Therefore, night creams are richer and thicker, contain slow-absorbing moisturisers which are designed to gradually penetrate the skin over the course of the night. If you use a night cream during the day, your skin will feel greasier and will not be protected from the sun.
Deep Moisture - Night creams have higher levels of emollients thus they are more moisturising and ultra-hydrating. If you have dry skin, you may choose to use a night cream. However, if you have normal to oily skin, you do not have to invest in a separate moisturiser.
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Anti-aging - Night creams may contain retinol, glycolic acid and salicylic acid which help to increase skin turnover, thereby diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is not advisable to use products with these ingredients during the day since they increase skin sensitivity. Therefore, a night cream does its work without the interference of sunscreen or UV-rays. If you use a day cream at night, your skin won’t have the full benefit of anti-aging ingredients.
Skin treatment – Many night creams contain compounds that improve the skin’s appearance, such as peptides which boost the production of collagen leading to firmer skin. Some contain antioxidants such as vitamin E and co-enzyme Q which reverse sun damage and prevent new wrinkles from forming.
Non SPF – Night creams do not provide any sun protection.
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Choosing a night cream
Targets specific problems – there are night creams for acne, for fine lines and wrinkles and for uneven skin. Choose a cream that addresses your particular concern.
Skin type specific – pick a cream that complements your skin type. Oily skin needs less hydration.
Age specific – in your 20s use a cream with natural ingredients such as aloe vera and essential oils. In your 30s, include antioxidants and amino acids. In your 40s, include peptides and vitamins. Over the age of 50, select a cream targeted towards mature skin.
Easy DIY night serum
Step 1 – Choose your oil(s)
I find that olive oil, baobab, argan, and rosehip oil, are some of the best moisturisers for all skin types.
Step 2 – Choose an essential oil
You can mix one or two different essential oils. Choose from rose, tea tree, lavender, jasmine, clove or any other.
Step 3 – Mix the ingredients
In a small glass dropper bottle, mix 25ml of oil with 5 drops of essential oil.
Step 4 – Usage
Use 3 to 4 drops of the serum and apply in an upward motion on your face and neck.
I personally like baobab oil which contains Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, which are highly beneficial to dry skin, and it also helps to diminish scarring. I add some clove oil which treats acne prone skin. This is an easy and budget-friendly night serum suitable for all ages.
Whether you choose to use a night cream or not, it is a personal choice. However, even if your skin is oily, you should always moisturise.
Be patient and consistent as most products take time to work. The most important thing for your skin is sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, even the most expensive cream will be wasted.